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Part of Water


Alberta is at risk of droughts and water shortages. Everyone can help do their part.

In focus

Photo of drought irrigation canal South Alberta

Stay up-to-date on conditions contributing to water shortage in the province.

Photo of the plains of Red Deer, Alberta

Learn about recent drought response actions undertaken by Alberta’s government and key partners.

Young girl dressed in a striped t-shirt and jean shorts, standing holding a garden hose watering a green lawn

Review tips and strategies on how to conserve water both indoors and outdoors.

Saint Mary Reservoir - waterbody surrounded by land and rocks

Find out about the impacts of drought on communities and the principles of sound water management.

Dry cracked mud flat in the Alberta Rockies, evergreen trees and mountains in the distance

Get the basics about drought and its impacts, as well as provincial water management stages.

Irrigation machine spraying water in a brown field

Information and tools to assist with on-farm business management and production issues during dry conditions and periods of business stress.


Generally, Alberta relies on melting snow and precipitation for most of its water. Droughts are prolonged periods of dry weather that deplete water resources, including:

  • natural sources (rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, groundwater)
  • constructed storage (reservoirs and dugouts)
  • irrigation canals
  • soil moisture

In the past 120 years, 5 major droughts have occurred across the Canadian Prairies. Starting in 1929 with the “Dust Bowl”, multi-year droughts also occurred in the 1980s and the early 2000s.

Current conditions

Alberta is currently in water shortage management stage 4 (out of 5), where multiple water management areas are impacted by water shortage. Alberta’s government is monitoring conditions and working closely with water users and local governments to help manage and conserve water where possible. See:

For updates on current conditions in specific rivers or basins, visit:


Connect with Environment and Protected Areas’ Outreach Services:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-3773 (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]